Bruce A. Hake, et al. v. Carroll County, Maryland, by its Board of County Commissioners, et al.
In May 2013, the American Humanist Association sued the Carroll County Board of Commissioners for its unconstitutional practice of delivering sectarian prayers at board meetings.
For a period of more than a year, the case was stayed pending a ruling on a similar case litigated by the ACLU involving sectarian prayers by the Rowan County Board of Commissioners. In June 2018, The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take the case effectively letting stand a lower court ruling that found the Rowan County commissioners' practice of delivering Christian prayers before their public meetings was unconstitutional.
On September 10, 2019, The U.S. District Court issued a final order permanently barring the Commissioners from delivering prayers at all future meetings.
Selected Case Documents:
District Court (Case No. 1:13-cv-01312):
Complaint (filed May 1, 2013)
Brief in Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction (filed May 1, 2013)
Motion of Contempt and Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion of Contempt (filed April 1, 2014)
Motion for Summary Judgment (filed June 9, 2014)
Motion to Compel Discovery (filed July 16, 2014)
Court Order granting Motion to Compel Discovery (issued August 14, 2014)
Supplemental Memorandum in Support of Summary Judgment (filed November 12, 2014)
Final Order (signed September 10, 2019)
AUGUST 30, 2019
AUGUST 14, 2014
The American Humanist Association's Motion to Compel Discovery is granted.
JUNE 10, 2014
Appignani Humanist Legal Center seeks injunction against unconstitutional prayer practices.
APRIL 2, 2014
Commissioners continue to defy injunction forbidding sectarian prayers at public meetings.
MARCH 27, 2014
County official opens meeting with prayer despite recent federal court order.
MARCH 26, 2014
AHA argues that overt Christian references in during county meetings violates Establishment Clause.
JANUARY 14, 2014
Our Appignani Humanist Legal Center is representing county residents in this case.
MAY 3, 2013
Two residents will challenge the Carroll County Board of Commissioners in federal court.
MAY 1, 2013
Prayers containing Christian references were delivered on 50 plus occasions at meetings held in 2011 and 2012.
MAY 13, 2012
The AHA is monitoring case of a county government planning prayer sessions for employees.